Google reputation management has long been a well-discussed topic, it has never occurred to me there still may be anything new to talk about there. Therefore I was so happy to come across a cool thread over at WebmasterWorld forums (mentioned at SERoundtable) that discussed an interesting case: trying to fix Google suggest results.
Imagine you type in your domain name (including the top level domain) in Google search box and before even clicking "Search" you see a "bad" word suggested next to your your domain name:
Does it harm your site reputation? I bet it does! Is there any way to change that? Well, let’s discuss!
According to Google, there are quite a few factors that influence its "Query suggestions" algorithm:
suggestions are drawn from searches you’ve done, searches done by users all over the world, sites in our search index, and ads in our advertising network.
Which of the above factors can be manipulated (and how):
- Your web history (Just make sure you are signed out of Google when testing Google suggest on your brand / domain name to make sure the results are unbiased);
- Other people’s search behavior (I for one never tried to influence that);
- Other sites mentioning your brand name (This one can be affected by active content distribution and press releases I guess);
- Google AdWords (This one is simple: go ahead and spend your money on Google PPC ads).
So looks like the only thing that can be done is flooding the web with other favorable phrases mentioning your brand name in a hope that this will help. For example, doing press releases and paying for AdWords with something like that:
- yoursite.com achievements;
- yoursite.com testimonials;
- yoursite.com blog, etc
But again, the question remains, if it is going to help. In your opinion (and based on your observations), what influences Google Suggest more dramatically (apart from the user’s own search history)?